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Old 05-12-2021, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Santo Domingo, RD
9,922 posts, read 4,820,261 times
Reputation: 16995

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Something else to consider is a doorbell camera. They can give you a pretty good view of the front of your house, and can be configured to notify you if a person approaches the door so you can view video of what is going on. It might give you a little piece of mind, and if something like package arriving happens unexpectedly you'll know and can deal with it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jill_Schramm View Post
I am particularly concerned about the water. I want to shut it off, but if we do that, how will we keep the lawn watered? (
Instead close the valve on the wall for each toilet, the washing machine, and the fridge ice maker if applicable. You can do the dishwasher too if it's accessible from under the sink, and the hot water heater if you want since your time frame it won't dry out and get ruined. Most floods happen due to the appliance or the connection from wall to appliance, not some random pipe bursting. Obvious nod to frozen pipes but given season I doubt that's a concern.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sprez33 View Post
Download the smartphone apps for your credit cards so you can monitor them and pay them in real time (I paid a credit card bill from Cambodia once). Also, download your banks app and you can use this to pay bills. Some utilities (cable, internet) have apps also so you can pay while away.
You could also set up autopay and have your credit cards and bank accounts text you for every withdrawal. We do absolutely nothing proactively yet all the bills get paid and I see every transaction that happens.
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Old 05-12-2021, 07:12 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
28,668 posts, read 47,744,825 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfomd129 View Post
^^^There should be a water shut off valve by your washing machine. That's an important one to shut off. Hoses can crack and make a real mess. Every house we've owned has also had a main valve in the garage for water coming into the house. In my experience the water for the irrigation system is separate from this but we've always lived in newer homes so I'm not sure if that's common with most homes.

You can buy a lamp timer in any hardware store or Walmart. They just attach to most lamps in the house and there will be instructions on the package. No real install needed - it's just an attachment to the existing lamp.

I forgot to mention copies of your health insurance cards along with the other important cards and documents.
+++ ^^^
We have never shut off our water (and we are rural / well)... but shutting off the Washing machine, Dishwasher and hot water tanks should cover most risk. (Be sure to shut off the heat to hot water tank (gas or electric))

We use a couple lamp timers (usually buy at garage sale or Salvation Army $2)

Indoor plants? lighted spot in garage?, or in wash room, and have neighbor water 1x / week

Mowing / newspapers / fliers / packages? Nice to have neighbor look in daily. at least weekly.

We took a lot of 1-3 month sabbaticals while home schooling and have been gone up to a yr at a time since retiring. We rarely use house sitters, but we have a source for that. (Guest home directory with a "Wanted house / plant / pet sitter). We are rural so there is a LOT to go wrong and need maint. Best scenerio is when we have spare living qtrs or RV site rented out to a very responsibile single adult (retiree preferred). They can do everything, including feeding the pets, plants, and livestock, and also blade snow with tractor and cut trees that fall on the house. Since we have several homes, we usually keep a tenant in spare living qtrs. Home schooled farm kids are great too, they really are responsible and capable of handling most house crisis'.


Fortunately we have never lost our paperwork or computers / phones while traveling, but recently I was at a rental car counter where a frantic dad left his phone in a rental car and it had all the boarding passes, emails, confirmation numbers... Very stressful for him with plane ready to depart and family stranded. Thus develop a system and checklist for each departure / stop to determine you have everthing BEFORE departing.

Consider making a rack / storage for car area with quick access to cooler / food and non-crush areas for fragile items (like bread and cinnamon rolls!) We take a hand sized campstove for warming drinks and soup. and plenty of lanterns / headlamps and a couple flares (Road emergency). Our winter kit is more exhaustive. Summer water you can get backpack type bladders that are quite robust and easy to stash. we drop by Dollar Tree every few days to restock water and travel items.

Lodging is a hassle because I like to keep route flexible and seldom stop by midnight when driving (cool of night is best for cars / tires and less traffic). Boring stuff I drive at night and arrive at my destination for sunrise. National Parks / crowded areas, I plan my visits / driving from Dawn to 10 AM, then 4PM to dusk (less traffic / families, + more wildlife)

We usually use Guest Homes for lodging (free to $20 / night Worldwide, been using for 30+ yrs), camping, but each of our cars has room to sleep if necessary. If using hotels, try to stick with a common brand and get points / priority status. Even in USA I often book using Agoda (Singapore based, = good Customer Service + accumulating a few credits each stay). I really prefer a 'base' in a region so I don't need various places each and everyday. I would rather drive from a hub. Occasional midweek stays at a hot springs or lodge to catch up on email and laundry.

https://wikitravel.org/en/Hospitality_exchange

Last edited by StealthRabbit; 05-12-2021 at 07:20 PM..
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Old 05-12-2021, 07:42 PM
 
1,798 posts, read 726,302 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lieqiang View Post
Something else to consider is a doorbell camera. They can give you a pretty good view of the front of your house, and can be configured to notify you if a person approaches the door so you can view video of what is going on. It might give you a little piece of mind, and if something like package arriving happens unexpectedly you'll know and can deal with it.



Instead close the valve on the wall for each toilet, the washing machine, and the fridge ice maker if applicable. You can do the dishwasher too if it's accessible from under the sink, and the hot water heater if you want since your time frame it won't dry out and get ruined. Most floods happen due to the appliance or the connection from wall to appliance, not some random pipe bursting. Obvious nod to frozen pipes but given season I doubt that's a concern.



You could also set up autopay and have your credit cards and bank accounts text you for every withdrawal. We do absolutely nothing proactively yet all the bills get paid and I see every transaction that happens.
We have this bizarre plumbing manifold system where all the shutoffs for everything are in the garage (and poorly labeled). I’m not even sure exactly how it works. I just know it’s not what most people have for plumbing.
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Old 05-13-2021, 09:31 AM
 
Location: Howard County, Maryland
11,299 posts, read 6,214,329 times
Reputation: 25602
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jill_Schramm View Post
I am particularly concerned about the water. I want to shut it off, but if we do that, how will we keep the lawn watered? (We have an automatic sprinkler system.) And if the lawn is not watered for a month, it will die and I don’t want to have to pay for re-sodding (of course). I suppose there should be a way of turning off the water on the inside of the house, but not the outside, but unfortunately, neither my husband or I have any clue how to do it. One idea my husband had is hiring a plumber to fix a tiny leak we have, then while he is here ask him about this.
'Fraid I can't help you there, because we don't have a sprinkler system. Our water shut-off is super simple; turn two handles to the left, and boom, the water is shut off.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jill_Schramm View Post
Is it hard to install a timer for the lights? I suppose we might need a handyman for this.
We have old fashioned timers where you manually set the on and off times. They're super simple. You set a little notch to the time you want the light to come on and another notch to the time you want the light to go off. Plug the timer into the wall, then plug the lamp (make sure it's turned on) into the timer. And you're done. (If you go this route, I would set the timer a couple of days before you leave, just so you can make sure that they do come on and go off.) I don't know about the fancier digital timers for plug-ins. We had one installed in place of the light switch for the foyer lights, which we can use either as a regular light switch or as a random timer.

Here's a thought. Maybe, halfway through your trip, one of you could fly back home from wherever you are. Spend a day at home, watering the lawn and getting the mail and paying bills and doing anything else that needs to be done. Then fly back to where you were and resume the trip.
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Old 05-13-2021, 12:03 PM
 
Location: USA
3,982 posts, read 1,784,335 times
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Our sprinklers use reclaimed water and run separately from the house water. There is a separate meter and shutoff for the reclaimed water. I shut off the house water and leave the reclaimed water on for the sprinklers.

On a different matter - I take an immersion heater and tea bags so I can make tea whenever we want. We've taken four cross country trips of several months each.
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Old 05-13-2021, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Northern California
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You can schedule your bill pay, for dates in the future, this is what we do. Online banking makes it so easy.
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Old 05-13-2021, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Northern California
82,696 posts, read 6,896,994 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bus man View Post
In this case there is. The OP is driving a Prius C. Nice little cars, but not a huge amount of storage space, unless she folds the rear seat down. And even then, still not a huge amount of storage space.

Oh, that reminds me. OP, when you stop for the night, you should bring your luggage inside with you, even if you won't need it that night. IIRC, there's no cover for the storage area in a Prius C, so anyone would be able to look inside your car and see that you have suitcases that might be tempting to a thief.
I agree, packing light, makes the trip easier. You can get fed up of dragging in & out your suitcases every few nights, & not everywhere will have lifts, only stairs, or the lift may be broken. I would limit to one carry on size of baggage each. Do laundry or have the hotel do it. Plus bags in the car overnight attract vandals/theives.
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Old 05-13-2021, 02:57 PM
 
12,240 posts, read 16,014,819 times
Reputation: 7940
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jill_Schramm View Post
Thanks for all the suggestions.

I am particularly concerned about the water. I want to shut it off, but if we do that, how will we keep the lawn watered? (We have an automatic sprinkler system.) And if the lawn is not watered for a month, it will die and I don’t want to have to pay for re-sodding (of course). I suppose there should be a way of turning off the water on the inside of the house, but not the outside, but unfortunately, neither my husband or I have any clue how to do it. One idea my husband had is hiring a plumber to fix a tiny leak we have, then while he is here ask him about this.

My husband has agreed to leave the key w a close, trustworthy friend of mine. I am going to have the next door neighbors take in the mail (and let me know if anything important comes), but I don’t want to leave a key with them, because they are a large family with children and while I trust the adults, I don’t trust the kids. I don’t think they will rob us, but I know they will be tempted to use our pool (they have begged in the past, but we said no for privacy and liability reasons.)

I agree with traveling light.

We are thinking about AAA, but I’m not sure about this.

I really like the idea of getting hard copies of our documents. We have always done this with passports, but for some reason not our other cards/documents.

I’m not sure about the smart phone controlled lights. My husband is a computer scientist and he worries about all this smart this and that and the hacking vulnerabilities.

Is it hard to install a timer for the lights? I suppose we might need a handyman for this.

Thanks!
Re: mail if you sign up with informed delivery, it shows you a picture of all the mail you're getting each day .. so you'll know what is important and what isn't. Caveat ... not sure if this works if it's being held? But regardless it;s nice to know what you're getting and that way too, when you get back, you can make sure all pieces are accounted for.
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Old 05-13-2021, 07:01 PM
 
Location: Amelia Island
3,685 posts, read 4,783,099 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jill_Schramm View Post
We have this bizarre plumbing manifold system where all the shutoffs for everything are in the garage (and poorly labeled). I’m not even sure exactly how it works. I just know it’s not what most people have for plumbing.
We have the same in our garage but I put a laminated red tag on the main shut off so my wife could go right to it in an emergency if I wasn’t home.
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Old 05-13-2021, 10:30 PM
 
2,152 posts, read 1,462,588 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBtwinz View Post

Credit cards, have more than one. We always let our credit card company know we are headed overseas or domestically traveling. While it has not happened to us we have family members who had their cards shut down as their purchases from different locations sent a flag. The card company tries to notify you but that does not always work.
It has happened to me - just once - traveling within the United States (was in a Ralph’s in San Diego about five years ago).

I had another card (with a different bank) with me, so no delay at the cashier. Once through the line, I called the bank of the card that had been declined to let them know I was traveling and they lifted the flag. But it is something I had never thought about doing for travel within the country before it happened.
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